- EXCERPT under 'Obama's Visit' section in story below:
- "The first case was seen in Mexico on April 13.
The outbreak coincided with the President Barack Obama's trip to Mexico
City on April 16. Obama was received at Mexico's anthropology museum in
Mexico City by Felipe Solis, a distinguished archeologist who died the
following day from symptoms similar to flu, Reforma newspaper reported.
The newspaper didn't confirm if Solis had swine flu or not. "
- Mexico's Calderon Declares Emergency Amid
Swine Flu Outbreak
- By Thomas Black
- April 25 (Bloomberg) -- Mexican President Felipe Calderon
declared an emergency in his country's swine flu outbreak, giving him powers
to order quarantines and suspend public events.
- Authorities have canceled school at all levels in Mexico
City and the state of Mexico until further notice, and the government has
shut most public and government activities in the area. The emergency decree,
published today in the state gazette, gives the president authority to
take more action.
- "The federal government under my charge will not
hesitate a moment to take all, all the measures necessary to respond with
efficiency and opportunity to this respiratory epidemic," Calderon
said today during a speech to inaugurate a hospital in the southern state
- At least 20 deaths in Mexico from the disease are confirmed,
Health Minister Jose Cordova said yesterday. The strain is a variant of
H1N1 swine influenza that has also sickened at least eight people in California
and Texas. As many as 68 deaths may be attributed to the virus in Mexico,
and about 1,000 people in the Mexico City area are showing symptoms of
the illness, Cordoba said.
- Obama's Visit
- The first case was seen in Mexico on April 13. The outbreak
coincided with the President Barack Obama's trip to Mexico City on April
16. Obama was received at Mexico's anthropology museum in Mexico City by
Felipe Solis, a distinguished archeologist who died the following day from
symptoms similar to flu, Reforma newspaper reported. The newspaper didn't
confirm if Solis had swine flu or not.
- The Mexican government is distributing breathing masks
to curtail the disease's spread. There is no vaccine against the new strain
of swine flu, health authorities said.
- Museums, theaters and other venues in the Mexico City
area, where large crowds gather, have shut down voluntarily and concerts
and other events canceled to help contain the disease. Two professional
soccer games will be played tomorrow in different Mexico City stadiums
without any fans, El Universal newspaper reported. Catholic masses will
be held, the newspaper said, although church officials urged worshipers
to wear breath masks and to avoid contact.
- Schools will likely remain closed next week, Calderon
said in the Oaxaca speech. The decree allows Calderon to regulate transportation,
enter any home or building for inspection, order quarantines and assign
any task to all federal, state and local authorities as well as health
professionals to combat the disease.
- "The health of Mexicans is a cause that we're defending
with unity and responsibility," Calderon said. "I know that although
it's a grave problem, a serious problem, we're going to overcome it."
- Normal Airport Operations
- Mexico City's international airport, which handles about
70,000 passengers each day, is operating normally, said Victor Mejia, a
spokesman. Passengers are given a questionnaire asking if they have flu
symptoms and recommending they cancel their trip and see a doctor if they
do. The measures are voluntary, Mejia said, and no case of swine flu in
airport passengers, workers or visitors has been confirmed.
- Authorities throughout Central America have issued alerts
to prevent the outbreak from spreading. Guatemala ordered tighter control
yesterday of its northern border with Mexico, according to EFE. Gerberth
Morales, who's heading the Guatemala government's response, said no cases
of swine flu have been reported in his country, the Spanish news agency
- Brazil is intensifying vigilance in ports, airports and
borders to check travelers' health, luggage, aircrafts and ships in a preventive
action against the outbreak in Mexico, the Agency for Sanitary Vigilance
said on its Web site.
- To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Black in
Monterrey at firstname.lastname@example.org